The time has come, Aam Aadmi Party government stand by their promises. Free Wi-Fi in Delhi was among one of the prominent pre-poll promises made by AAP. The Delhi government now plans to make free Wi-Fi functional by February of next year. The free Wi-Fi Internet to city residents will on the basis of limited data usage instead of setting a time limit.
According to a senior official, government will release Expression of Interest (EOI) for the project by the end of this month followed by Request for Proposal (RfP) in June with the work to be awarded by July.
Around 150 companies from around the world have expressed interest in the project, the official said.
"We will work on ensuring a minimum speed of 512 KB p/s to each user to make it a better experience. We will be very strict on user experience and uninterrupted service," said the Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of IT, Adarsh Shastri.
The government is considering fixing the data usage to 50 MB per day but a call is yet to be taken in that regard.
"We will not fix a time but will restrict bandwidth. Internet will be charged on the basis of data usage per day. Once the data limit is exhausted, users can avail the service by paying for extra usage. Every day the system will be reset," Shastri said.
The Information Technology department is in the process of identifying 1,000 places along with the Ground Water Survey and Development Agency (GSDA) for setting up hotspots in the first phase of implementation.
Talking about the revenue model, Shastri said, "This will be a first-of-its-kind project to be tested on such a large scale. In Delhi, there are around 2 crore wireless devices which can access Internet. If at any point, 25-30 per cent people access Internet, it means approximately 50 lakh users.
The government plans to set-up 50,000-80,000 hotspots across Delhi as part of the free Wi-Fi endeavour.
"As it is a public Wi-FI, it will be available only at public places. An access point (AP) covers a 50 sq.m area, so multiple APs will be installed in one area," added Shastri.